A Net Zero HVAC system can make sense.
Net Zero HVAC sounds like the words are incompatible with each other for this web site. The Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system provides a slight misnomer for this web site. That is because we do not condition the air for cooling purposes as is normally the case. We heat or cool the home using a water-to-water heat pump to transfer heat (measured in BTUs) into or out of well water and place heated or cooled water in a buffer tank. A circulation pump transfers that warm or cool water via hydronic tubing throughout the concrete floor. Hence my wife calls our cooling method “Floor Conditioning.”
Several thermostats govern which heating zone control valves open upon their command. The “zone control valves” release warm water into their respective radiant floor zones.
You would never notice any sign of an installed heating or air conditioning system in our home if you visited us. The only visible equipment occupies the mechanical room unless you count several zone thermostats sprinkled through the home. An independent (Heat Recovery Ventilation) HRV system generates the only air movement in the house except for rarely opened windows.
We chose to try radiant floor cooling with good success.
Our home even utilizes the concrete radiant floor for cooling the house and shop. We accomplish that by simply by reversing the heat pump so that it cools the circulated water instead of heating it.
Our part of the country provides uncommonly low humidity levels. The dew point stays at a much lower temperature normally than the inside house or shop temperatures. We normally keep our cooled floor temperatures at or above 70F in the summer months, well above the dew point.
Thus far, no metal or concrete objects have caused condensation to form in the shop or house. As a result, mold should never form and become a problems for us. We have tested are carpeting in the house and have never experienced condensation or mold problems. Consequently we plan to install wall-to-wall carpeting in much of the house soon.
Obviously this will NOT work out so well for many other sections of our country, especially the Great Lakes and Coastal regions. If this does not make sense to you, be SURE to consult an experienced HVAC person before trying such a design yourself. You can read more on this subject in the Unconventional Heating and Cooling tab which in another sub-tab of this article.
Please read other articles under this main page for more information on our somewhat unique Net Zero energy active heating and cooling systems.